What to do f I received my paycheck and my overtime wages were less?

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What to do f I received my paycheck and my overtime wages were less?

I am a plumber. My regular hours are 8:30-5:00 and a few days a week I am on-call all night. The company charges time and half for the call. My compensation went from 33 to 40 after hours. On my most recent paycheck, I noticed it was less than expected. The employer decided to reduce our after hours rate to 33. They gave us a note with our paychecks saying this is what they did. It was never mentioned prior. I do not receive a minimum rate, only commission on jobs worked. They had us sign something saying this was okay but I still feel like even with our signatures this may be wrong. I don’t know what to do and what is illegal/legal.

Asked on June 6, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not exempt from overtime--and if you are paid on an hourly basis as your question implies, not an annual salary, you are not exempt--you must be paid overtime when you work more than 40 hours per week, and overtime must be 50% more than your base hourly rate. That is the law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA), and if you work more than 40 hours in a week and don't receive the appropriate overtime, you can file an overtime complaint with the department of labor. 
The above is under federal law. Your state (CA) also requires overtime if you work more than 8 hours in day.
However, the key is, overtime is based on how many hours you work, not whether you are on call or if you work after your normal shift: all that matters is hours worked per week (federal law) or per day (CA law). There is also no overtime for simply being "on call"--when the call comes in and you have to work, that counts towards your hours worked and overtime eligibility, but just waiting for the call to come in does not.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not exempt from overtime--and if you are paid on an hourly basis as your question implies, not an annual salary, you are not exempt--you must be paid overtime when you work more than 40 hours per week, and overtime must be 50% more than your base hourly rate. That is the law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA), and if you work more than 40 hours in a week and don't receive the appropriate overtime, you can file an overtime complaint with the department of labor. 
The above is under federal law. Your state (CA) also requires overtime if you work more than 8 hours in day.
However, the key is, overtime is based on how many hours you work, not whether you are on call or if you work after your normal shift: all that matters is hours worked per week (federal law) or per day (CA law). There is also no overtime for simply being "on call"--when the call comes in and you have to work, that counts towards your hours worked and overtime eligibility, but just waiting for the call to come in does not.


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